The Isle of Wight’s Bus Shelter says it has been forced off the Island due to the Isle of Wight Council’s refusal to allow it to reopen – claims which the local authority denies.

The charity has been providing accommodation, food and services for up to 16 rough sleepers on the Island since 2016.

But, it now says it is in the process of being wound-up. Posting on Facebook, the charity said:

“With a heavy heart I’m sorry to say that as the council have not allowed us to open again.

“The bus is being gifted to another bus shelter charity…

“Thank you for all your support, you are brilliant every single one of you.”

The Isle of Wight Council says it “strongly refutes” any suggestion it has prevented the Bus Shelter from re-opening.

It claims it was willing to continue to support the charity to find a “new, suitable location for the shelter”.

A spokesperson said:

“We did meet with the charity to discuss locations, however, they then told us they had found a new site and no longer needed council assistance. They have not approached us since. 

“We would have considered using the service once it reopened had we had sufficient assurance that it met appropriate standards of health and safety. 

“In the meantime, we have been able to secure an appropriate quality of service from alternative providers with whom we can continue to work with in the future 

“We are disappointed the service is going but, to reiterate, the charity has not made any approaches to the council before coming to this conclusion. 

“Any decision not to reopen is entirely down to the charity itself and not this local authority.”